4/11/11

Who's old?

This morning's blog was supposed to be titled "54 year old quilts." It was about my Grandmother's 54 year old Singer 15-91 that I'm using to quilt a Linus quilt. Cute story, cute pictures. Except I forgot to upload the pictures and after I took the picture, she started to skip stitches and I moved to my Bernina. That's okay. Don't really want to quilt on that machine anyway, even though she has perfect tension. Just not sure I want to put that kind of mileage on an older machine and I was nervous about that, so I kept stopping and oiling her. The Bernina just needs her hook race oiled...much easier to do between bobbins.

Anyway, I was listening to NPR this morning and they were running a story on aging, which runs right along with using an older machine to quilt, right? The premise of the story was that most older adults have a bit of memory loss, but the difference between those that show symptoms and those that don't may be related to how people deal with stress. Those that get up from a problem, shake themselves off, and move on have a statistically noticeable lower occurrence of the symptoms of significant memory loss. Those who are depressed and feel that the world is crushing down on them are more likely to display symptoms of severe memory loss.

The reason, as purported by the doctor, was that everyone had the capacity to accomodate some loss of memory and those that had used that capacity up by struggling with depression were less likely to be able to accomodate significant memory loss.

They likened memory to traffic. If a road is blocked, you can take sidestreets to get to your destination (memory). It takes longer, but you still get there. But, depression, medication, alcohol and mistreating the body tend to close up the sidestreets, so when you hit a roadblock, you're just stopped.

The commentator was a gerontologist that talked about his oldest patient. Helen is 109 and still lives on her own and remains active and connected to the world around her. There may be some genetics at work here, but the doctor cited her ability to shake things off and get on with life as the greatest contributing factor to her longevity and more importantly to me, her ability to stay connected. Apparently there hasn't been a "fountain of youth" for Helen, but rather "spunk" has kept her alive as she has faced a good bit of adversity in her life and each time that she's been knocked down, she's gotten right back up and moved on. No wallowing. No time for depression.

So, looking introspectively, I can see where my reaction to the bumps in the road of life could indicate that I won't be able to find my keys in about two weeks. I wonder if it counts that AFTER I wallow around in my own worries for a while, I can pull myself up and do what needs to be done. But, only AFTER I wallow for a while.

And, I have to weigh what the gerentologist was saying with what I found in Saturday's fortune cookie; "47.5% of all statistics are made up on the spot."

Have a great day. And, hey, before you laugh at me for losing my keys, where's your wallet?

Lane

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like to wallow around a little about things that depress me. After a short time, then I'll say to forget it and go on with life. Just don't take my wallow time away and I'll try not to let it last for more than 10-15 minutes.
Thanks for sharing.
cindy

Kay said...

Still where I left it. In my purse.

Coloradolady said...

Where is the keys? That usually is the million dollar question. It no wonder with all the wallowing I do, I even remember what day it is. This was a good post Lane, makes me want to do differently and shift my thinking. I know that is not an easy thing to do, but still.....something to think about today, if I can remember it! LOL Have a great day.

Shirleymac said...

Great post Lane. I second everything said here. I don't dip into depression much anymore. I do still have meltdowns, unfortunately, but they are short lived. I think one way to combat stress and depression is to learn to laugh at ourselves. Life is so much better when I'm having fun.

I do have memory loss, especially when it comes to names. And I have a bad habit of putting things down without paying attention to where I put them - like last night when I was crocheting I put my work down. Unfortunately I didn't pay attention to where the hook was when I did it so it took me 5 minutes to find it under the couch cushion when I came back to it.

Becky said...

Oh Jeepers! I have blogged many times about how I can't find stuff....so there's really no hope for me, is there!! I am doing better at throwing off stress, and Lord knows I have had plenty of opportunities the past few weeks. Some days are better than others. 90% of the time I am my old self, but the 10% that is in the dark pit is in there DEEP! I'm gonna try harder so I will at least be able to find my way to the toilet in the future. Enjoy your sewing!

Mad about Craft said...

There is no hope for me. I already have a poor memory and I suffer with depression! I'll just have to hope the depression doesn't affect my STML (short term memory loss) any more than it is already.

I work in older people's care and we watch for depression as it can mimic dementia in older people. If we think someone is depressed we treat.

Vesuviusmama said...

I'm definitely not a wallower (well, except for a few rare lapses). I think that's why my quilts never turn out the way I "planned" - when something doesn't work, I don't worry about why it didn't work, I just do something else.

Anyway, had to visit you today to let you know that, while I haven't read your blog (or anyone else's) in ages, I thought of you yesterday as my kids and I separated our day lilies and replanted the ones we took of the big clumps. Here's hoping they survive - today, they look good! Thanks for your advice on that back in the fall!

Elaine Adair said...

mmm - I've often thought that as Senior Citizens, we have MOre THINGS to think about, be sad about, dwell upon, etc. and wouldn't one expect all that drivel to clog up the passages? While I DO forget names on occasion, I CAN remember the most minute of occurrances that were important to me at one time or another. Hey, that's a LOT of stuff in our brains by this time!

Elizabeth said...

I know exactly where my wallet is. It is in my purse, which unfortunately, has gone missing.

xo -El

Anonymous said...

As senior citizens we have more things to dwell on, more memories, and in some cases, like mine, more to do than our age usually does. So many of us are caregivers these days, and more probably in the future. It was my generation who started keeping our handicapped children at home instead of putting them in homes. We also are living a lot longer overall. Yes, I am depressed and under more stress than most. I know I will not see 100 let alone 109, but isn't that what we were made for??